The Jazz Theologian

I remember how it happened for me.  It began with me asking my Grandmother for a Bible shortly after I gave my life to Christ at the age of nine.  It was a NIV Thomson Chain and it is still the one that I read devotionally to this day.  The first book of the Bible that I read was James.  I believe that it was here that I gained my understanding of faith with feet.  That what we believe needs to connect with real life problems of class and poverty.  I then turned to the book of Revelation.  All I can say is that at the age of nine it literally scared the hell out of me!

I stopped reading the scriptures for a few months.

But I couldn’t stay away for long for they spoke to me.  I made a decision to read the whole Bible.  It took me a couple of years and much of it I didn’t understand but I was enthralled with it.  I made notes in the margins, looked up the cross-references and over time began to understand how it was put together.  Reading the scriptures became habit for me.  I would read them in the morning and took my Bible with me to school to get a glimpse of it at lunchtime.  I would then read it in my room before bed, often times falling asleep with it in my hands.

This was my classical phase. 

I think that a classical phase must precede a jazz-shaped faith.  Before we can improvise and syncopate we must first learn to play the scales of the faith.

It was a time of learning the basic chords and structures of scripture.  It was a season of noticing the nuances.  By the time I was sixteen I had a good understanding of a lot that was in this magnificent book, but I wouldn’t say that I understood it let alone knew how it was to uniquely live through me.

Finding my voice was still to come…

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